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Water-Wise Gardening Information
Learn to be water-wise in your yard and garden! Fall is a good time to introduce new plants in your yard allowing them to become established by winter rain. Even California native plants aren't drought-resistant until they become well established. Take advantage of these water-wise tips for plant and lawn care.
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PESTS & DISEASES IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN: Imported cabbageworm (Pieris rapae).
Adult imported cabbageworms are known as cabbage white butterflies, and, according to Kathy Keatley Garvey at UC Davis, they are “the butterfly we’re supposed to hate.” This is because their larvae feast on vegetables in the cabbage family, especially cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. The larvae are velvet-like and green with a faint orange stripe down the length of the back and broken stripes along the sides. The adult is a smallish white butterfly with black marks on the wings. While not the most strikingly beautiful butterfly, it is still enjoyable to watch them flit about the garden visiting a wide variety of flowers. But, the larvae are another story. They are voracious feeders on the outer and inner leaves of affected vegetable plants, bore into the heads of these vegetables, and drop fecal pellets onto edible leaves. On the positive side, according to the attached “Bug Squad” article by Keatley Garvey, the larvae are believed to be the cause of plants producing chemicals that are responsible for the pungent taste of wasabi and mustard. Fortunately, the imported cabbageworm can be controlled in home gardens by use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or spinosad, or by handpicking. For more information of the imported cabbageworm, see the UC IPM website and Keatly Garvey’s interesting article.